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The Office NYC

Bars, Cocktail bars Upper West Side
4 out of 5 stars
The Office NYC (Photograph: David Lewis Taylor)
Photograph: David Lewis TaylorThe Office NYC
The Office NYC (Photograph: David Lewis Taylor)
Photograph: David Lewis TaylorThe Office NYC
The Office NYC (Photograph: David Lewis Taylor)
Photograph: David Lewis TaylorThe Office NYC

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

There’s a lot to say about the Office. The speakeasy, from the all-star team behind Chicago’s trailblazing bar the Aviary, is in the elevated lobby of the five-star Mandarin Oriental New York. The plush midcentury-modern decor is a cross between a James Bond hangout and a Ralph Lauren catalog. The cocktails—from Micah Melton, the beverage director transplanted from the Aviary—are $23 a pop. Now that the basics are out of the way, let’s talk about panache. The bottled tinctures and rare spirits are put to good use in the bar’s “dealer’s choice” option: Imbibers can name a drink, a movie, a feeling—anything—along with a number from 1 to 10—10 being most adventurous. On a recent Tuesday night, we named an espresso martini. This sumptuous 10 “martini” was garnished with bright flowers and nutmeg shavings and served with coconut milk and cream in a brown metal and tribal-etched pot that looked like it was taken from the prop room of an Indiana Jones flick. And that just scratches the surface of the bar’s liquid creativity. Other ingredients used for these customized cocktails include lamb kebab, lobster and pho. Just another day at the office.

ORDER THIS: The silky-smooth, bourbon-based old-fashioned is finished with a light berry taste, thanks to strawberry juice, and comes with a large monogrammed block of ice (the leather-topped metal coasters are monogrammed as well). For the verdant Snap Pea, the waiter instructs you to eat the salt-sprinkled herb garnish before you take your sip, creating an earthy and bitter gin tipple finished with Chartreuse, sherry, fennel and soda. To complement the savory cocktail, the Amaretto Sour is a rich, viscous cherry drink, complete with a whole egg, black truffle, Cynar 70-proof amaro and smoked salt.

GOOD FOR: Blowing your bonus. The two menus (one for drinks, one for spirits) feature Dusty Bottle options, pouring liquors that are well aged, with the price to match. The cheapest quaff in that section, for $50, is a cocktail of your choice mixed with one of six spirits from the 1960s. The price swells to $600 for a Wet Martini with Tanqueray sweet gin, Noilly Prat Blanc and Lash’s bitters (circa 1900s). But the most wallet-emptying drink on the menu is a swig of the Hector Romain cognac from 1835. The one-ounce serving costs $1,200.

THE CLINCHER: This is just the beginning for the team. The Chicagoans will open the Aviary in that 35th floor lobby (boasting sweeping Central Park views) this fall, confining the Office behind a surreptitious side door, and cementing it as the retro yin to the Aviary’s boundary-pushing yang . Even as the Office makes us yearn for the past, we can’t wait for the future.


Address: 80 Columbus Circle
New York
Cross street: between Broadway and Columbus Ave
Transport: Subway: A, C, B, D, 1 to 59th St–Columbus Circle
Price: Average cocktail: $23
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